It occurred to me recently that there are a repeating set of figures in my art that most of you may recognize, but only a handful really know. As a storyteller and an artist, my art is driven most strongly by character-centric work, particularly characters which I have been writing about for years, yet have never really shared with the general populace. I wanted to shed some light on some of these characters that have been featured in my art and who continue to inspire me to this day. More than merely sinking into the background, these characters have endured themselves to my imagination, tempting me to distraction when my mind should be occupied elsewhere.
Without further ado, I present one of my most recent muses: Melakim Fahre, the Shadow Hunter (or ‘Mae’ for short).
The Short Bio: The nihilistic bounty hunter with a distrust of people. As an infant, he was found birthed from the body of a dead woman, an inauspicious omen to the clerics who took him in, as well as his strange, seemingly blind right eye. He lived life as a servant before their fear of him drove them to extreme measures and a botched exorcism. He escaped and lived life on the rough streets of the city before being taken in by a rich patroness, Siin Fomori, who has since raised him as an assassin for her organization, Blood Meridian. He spends most of his time as far away from the organization as possible, much rather preferring the simple life of a woodsman hunter.
The Long Bio: Available Here
What inspired this character?
This particular character started with the simple flash of inspiration that began with the eyes. Even before I had a concept, I knew I wanted him to be devoid of an eye. In earlier versions of the character, he was burned by an angel who took his right eye in battle. I created him as a character to be roleplayed in a past online roleplaying game with nothing more than a wish to portray a character that was not likeable, and therefore a break from my general leanings towards charismatic, moralistic characters which were merely reflections of myself in the world of Dungeons and Dragons (which I played in high school and college). Melakim started out mean, tired of the world, and more apt to stop and help someone only if they offered him money. The one simple exception to this auger was that he could never resist that annoying urge to help a child in need, which is the origin of his namesake, Melakim, the guardian angel of children’s safety.
Melakim is and has always been one who lacks general faith in humanity, and yet at the same time, has a burning need to be accepted. He teeters on the edge of falling in to that darker side, while being tempted by the hope that perhaps everything is not as he has perceived it in his experience, a fact which has made him most intriguing for me. Perhaps he is a reflection of my own past? Moving around with my family for the military left me with many days by myself pondering if it was worth getting involved in emotional connections with people at all. It hurt so much to say goodbye, it hurt to have issues with others, and yet, oftentimes it is only by interacting with others that we learn just how beautiful the world really is.
Melakim also presents a way for me to examine the psychology of the half-breed, or one between worlds. In his early incarnations, he was half angel and half mortal, yet never quite accepted by both, a stigma I can empathize with, being half Puerto Rican and Caucasian. In his latest incarnation, he is plagued by being always half tuned in to the spirit world, and the feeling of never quite being part of the living or the dead, especially with the way he is ostracized by superstitious individuals who view his white eye and and extra-sensory perception as evil. Melakim in all incarnations often felt lost and confused with no place or people to call home.
Despite his moral lack of faith in people, he still has compassion buried deep down, though it is a question of how long this compassion will remain. Roleplaying games have come and gone since his inception and now he exists in my imagination, beckoning me with the thought of novelization.
How do you get inspired to create art and writing for this character?
Music is a large part of my artistic process. Certain chords and lyrics strike a certain vivid image in my mind’s eye which helps me when I’m in the mood to create. I listen to a lot of music by VAST, Jon Crosby’s dulcet, soulful tones being as close to how I imagine Melakim sounding than anyone I’ve ever heard.
EDIT: Now that Melakim has undergone a gender switch for novel purposes, I’ve been drawn to different vocalists, including Florence+The Machine and Ellie Goulding. Funny how that works!
I must also admit an affinity for other long haired hunters, such as the Vampire Hunter D and Yasha, the demon slayer from RG Veda. Watching these anime flicks always get my juices flowing for Melakim.
Playlist for Melakim: Available here
Until the next Muse, who are your muses? Why do they inspire you? How do you prepare yourself to write or draw for them?